Part of the looted office of Al-Assema TV in Tripoli
Al-Assema, private TV satellite channel airing from Tripoli, resumed broadcasting Thursday night after being stormed by militiamen in the morning.
The attack on the channel has been strongly condemned by the public who considered it an aggression on democracy, free press and freedom of expression.
Militiamen, who have become the focus of wide protestation of the majority of Libyans, stormed the headquarters of Al-Assema looting and smashing equipment before abducting staffers.
Most of the staffers have been released but the militiamen are still holding the channel’s top two managers.
The militiamen locked the staffers in a room, torched offices and then led at least six, including the network's owner, manager and employees, to vehicles and took them to an undisclosed location. Later in the day, they freed all except Joumaa al-Usta, and the station's executive manager Mr. Nabil Shibani.
The Minister of Information Yousef Sharif described the attack on Al-Assema as criminal calling on the public to protest against the outlaws and to protect the legitimate elected government.
Sharif said measures are to be undertaken by the government in this latest and other militia’s actions.
The human rights committee in the National Congress said in a statement that the attack on Al-Assema is a violation of human rights and free expression calling for the release of the abducted journalists.
The attack on the TV station comes after a widely locally condemned assault against the National Congress on Tuesday in which lawmakers came under siege for hours and were demanded to immediately pass a controversial law that aims to prevent officials who held top jobs under dictator Gaddafi’s regime, to hold office.
One of the militiamen pointed his gun at the head of the President of the National Congress Mohamed Magharief, whose car later came under fire while he wass leaving the building, which was under siege.
But despite the increase of number of incidents against public and private legitimate institutions by the militias, the public opinion is also increasingly moving into the support of the elected government and a stable secure and secure state.